“Influx” by Daniel Suarez (Dutton, 2014)


It seems logical that if movie rights to a book are sold before the book is even published, then the book must be pretty good. Such is the case with Daniel Suarez’s latest book, Influx, rights to which have been acquired by Twentieth Century Fox. Another book that went through similar motions was Justin Cronin’s The Passage, before it was released, which went on to become a huge bestseller and was also a great book. But perhaps the key to Influx is that it is not only a riveting thriller that the likes of Michael Crichton or Tom Clancy might have written, but it is a book that is uniquely Daniel Suarez and sets the stage for his ability as a great writer and talented storyteller. There aren’t many books when one reads the last page, one feels compelled to flip back to the first page and start reading again, but Influx is definitely one of them.

What if our world was in fact way more advanced technologically than we thought possible? What if fusion power, true artificial intelligence, anti-gravity or even immortality had already been invented but had been kept hidden from humanity because of the possible harm it could cause the human race and the planet? This is the premise for Influx, which opens with particle physicist Jon Grady trying out his newly invented technology with his colleagues as they wrap their minds around the reality that is a gravity mirror. The possibilities are endless! And then they find themselves under attack by a terrorist group who tie them up and leave them in the warehouse to be killed by the bomb that has been left for them.

The bomb goes off and then Grady awakens to find himself in the office of the Bureau of Technology Control, a supposed government watchdog group that snatches up advanced technologies that pose too great a risk for the world. Grady is given the option to continue his work for the bureau or be imprisoned. Refusing to give up, Grady options for the latter and thus begins his tough times that will push him to the limits if he wants to fight back against this clandestine nonexistent government group.

Influx has the techno-thrill of a book that the late Michael Crichton might one day have written, as well as the jargon and complexity of the late Tom Clancy, posing the question as to whether Daniel Suarez is the author to step into these bestselling authors shoes? But the book also has a human side to it with its characters, with a moral to be learned and appreciated, as well as a story filled with cutting edge science that leaves one wondering if they’re reading fiction or nonfiction?

Daemon and Freedom™ were Daniel Suarez’s start as an author, as he told a particular story he wanted to tell. Kill Decision was his follow up book that was a story seizing on the hot topic of drones that were about to make headline news worldwide. Influx is the quasi science fiction thriller that Suarez was destined to write, that shows his full ability and scope not just as a great writer, but as a visionary storyteller that sets the stage for his future books that will no doubt match and exceed Influx in scope and potential. Suarez is a writer you should take note of, because he’s got some very important things to talk about, things that in all likelihood may one day come to pass.

Originally written on February 16, 2014 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Influx from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Daniel Suarez will be doing a reading and signing at Copperfield’s San Rafael on February 25th at 7pm. CLICK HERE for more information.

I had the opportunity to interview Daniel Suarez in 2009 with the release of Daemon which you can listen to here.

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Daemon  Freedom  Kill Decision